Nov 24, 2009

Gift Ideas for Lindy Hoppers

When I started swing dancing in 2001, it was quite hard to find much in the way of products for swing dancers. Now there are tons of things out there from DVDs to apparel. The holidays are a great time to get other people to buy you things you might not let yourself spend money on. So whether you're a Lindy Hopper yourself, or you just happen to have one in your life (lucky you!), here are some holiday and birthday gift ideas for swing dancers!

The most important thing you could own! Naturally you can make your own by gluing leather or suede to the bottoms of a comfortable pair of shoes, but it's nice when you can just buy them ready to go! We don't wear the same stuff as ballroom dancers... because we're better! (only kidding! mostly!) is probably the most common source of shoes in the Lindy world.

Mens Shoes- the classic Aris Allen captoe, great to own both black and white to cover every occasion! This is pretty much THE shoe that guys wear (and even some girls, because from what I hear it's gives good support because of the wide heel base, and the hard leather sole and low heel give just the right action)

It's also nice to have a comfy practice shoe, and there are lots of options for that too:

Womens Shoes is your friend here, with lots of dressy or practice shoes to choose from. All the styles are pretty comfy.

Another place to look is Remix Vintage Shoes. These shoes are quite a bit pricier, and they're not made exclusively for dancing (they just happen to have hard leather soles so they work) but they are quite popular in the Balboa dance world. (check if your favorite dancer actually does Balboa first!) Most styles are not as padded as a dance shoe would be, which can be less comfortable, but sometimes that can improve performance. Here are some of the styles I've seen people wear most ("Anita", "Balboa", and "Deco") :

There are all kinds of things that are nice to have for every swing dancer:
  • Shoe bags
  • Water bottles
  • Hand towel (to use as a sweat rag- sexy!)
  • Glue for shoe emergencies (any sort of 'sticks to anything' glue)

Then there's your fancier stuff:

For Men:
  • Vintage looking ties
  • Tie clips
  • Nice solid black or white belt

For Women
  • Earrings that won't fall off
  • Cool belts
  • Pretty hair accessories
  • Makeup!
  • Hair stuff: check out and search for 'fascinators' ooooh pretty!


Frankie Manning, Ambassador of Lindy Hop (Biography)
Swingin' at the Savoy - Norma Miller's Autobiography
JAZZ: A history of Ameria's Music (Ken Burns) textbook to accompany the PBS documentary series
Books about 1940s Hairdos

JAZZ: A film by Ken Burns

Instructional DVDs:

Event DVDs: full of inspiring competition/performance footage and class reviews (technically, this is Balboa and not Lindy)

Gift Certificates: On short notice (like now!) when shipping can't get there in time, give gift certificates! for books and music (seems they don't have gifts as option yet, so give your dancing loved ones some money and tell them to spend it here) for music and movies for gift certificates towards our lessons series in Columbus Ohio

Comment and let us know -
What do you recommend as gifts for Lindy Hoppers?
What's the best dance gift you've received?
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